NWR urges new graduates to believe in their credentials

Martin Endjala

Namibia Wildlife Resort Managing Director, Matthias Ngwangwama has urged the new hospitality graduates to believe in their qualifications and not to be discouraged by critics.

“To all our graduates, what you achieved today is historic. You must truly believe deep down in your heart that you have an accredited qualification that gives you hope. Do not be put off by criticisms that your qualifications are not useful,” he said.

Ngwangwama said this yesterday at the first NWR hospitality institute graduation ceremony held at Gross Barmen Resort, where he stated that there are still ample opportunities in the tourism and hospitality industry, be it in terms of employment or coming up with innovative business ideas.

The ceremony witnessed over 70 graduates from various categories, such as waitresses, chefs, Front office operators, housekeeping operations and tour guides as well as food and beverage services and commercial cookery with a level 3 NTA Certificate.

Ngwangwana urged the graduates to approach experienced people and institutions in the tourism sector for advice on how to go about realising the business ideas they might have.

“You had an opportunity to study theory in tourism and hospitality combining it with practical application at a big and well-established institution like NWR. Education is about applying what you have learned, and putting it into practice, in daily life,” said Ngwangwama.

He emphasised that globally, Vocational Education and Apprenticeship training is a key element for the labour market to function properly, create employment and support employees both personally and professionally.

Explaining that it is also an essential factor in national competitiveness and quality service delivery. Therefore, with the support of the social partners in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), in particular, he said, the Namibia Training Authority and NWR are committed towards skills development and upskilling of Namibian youth in the tourism sector.

He said Namibia’s National Development Plan Five identifies the Tourism Industry as an important industry contributing to the country’s economic growth.

“The desired outcome is that Namibia has a diversified and competitive tourism sector with an increased number of tourists from 1.4 million in 2015 to 1.8 million by the year 2022. Before the advent of COVID-19 in 2019 about 1.6 million tourists and after COVID-19 in 2022 recorded 461 00 tourists.

To grow back to the levels of pre-COVID, from last year’s 461 000, requires dedicated effort and cooperation of all stakeholders in the tourism sector, and NWR, as the biggest state-owned tourism industry player, needs to contribute significantly to the tourism national desired outcome,” he said.

He added that as a result, NWR Hospitality Institute was established on 1 June 2020 to provide Vocational Education, Apprenticeship and Training to equip NWR employees to meet hospitality industry standards, prioritise labour force work-readiness through vocational skills development for competencies, develop TVET and apprenticeship facilities for talent development.

As well as develop the link between employment and quality education and ensure up-to-standard and memorable guest experience through all NWR hospitality and tourism services experiences.

The training started at two training centres, Khorixas Rest Camp and Gross Barmen with 80 apprentices, funded under the Work Integrated Learning through the Namibia Training Authority and seven privately funded students by the Kunene Regional Council and 12 private tour guides.

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